Archive: Nuclear

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Using the Sterling Engine for Solar and Lunar Power

Since Robert Stirling invented the Stirling engine in 1816, it has been used in an array of specialized applications. That trend continues today. Its compatibility with clean energy sources is becoming apparent: It is an external combustion engine that can utilize almost any heat source, it encloses a fixed amount of a gaseous working fluid, and it doesn’t require any water — unlike a steam engine.

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Nuclear Developments in Europe

Recent months brought several developments in Europe’s much-touted "nuclear renaissance." Spain Extends Life of Nation’s Oldest Reactor Spain’s government on July 2 granted a four-year extension to the operating permit of the 466-MW Santa María de Garoña nuclear power plant (Figure 3). The decision follows a nonbinding recommendation by Spain’s nuclear regulator in June to […]

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Sweden Selects Site of First Permanent Spent Nuclear Fuel Repository

In early June, as U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu confirmed to a House Subcommittee that Yucca Mountain repository was, without doubt, "off the table" and that a blue ribbon panel would further advise the government on what it should do with its high-level nuclear waste, Sweden announced the site of what could be the world’s first permanent spent fuel repository.

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Steam Turbines: San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Gets Upgraded Generator Rotors

Southern California Edison’s (SCE) 2,250-MWe San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) recently took receipt of a new and upgraded generator rotor for one of its two Alstom steam turbine generator units (Figure 1). Following the successful installation and flawless start-up of this new rotor in the Unit 2 generator, the former Unit 2 rotor was […]

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Nuclear: Realistic Simulation Assists in Nuclear Power Plant Certification

From the onset of the civilian nuclear era (marked by President Dwight Eisenhower’s "Atoms for Peace" speech to the United Nations in 1953), there has been a strong awareness of the importance of safety within the nuclear energy industry. Western experts have devoted much time and effort to ensuring the integrity of reactor cores and […]

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China Begins Construction of World’s First AP1000 Reactor

Construction of the world’s first nuclear power plant to use U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric’s AP1000 reactor technology commenced this April in China, with the pouring of 5,200 cubic meters of concrete at the nuclear island at Sanmen in Zhejiang province (Figure 3). The two-unit Sanmen plant will be built in three phases, with the first reactor […]

U.S. Being Passed by Other Nuclear Nations

The U.S. may have created the roadmap for the next generation of nuclear reactors, but other countries are farther down the road to development. The U.S. Department of Energy initiated the Generation IV Roadmap development project in January 2000. Soon, nine other countries joined, including some of the largest commercial nuclear powers, such as France, […]

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Recession Reduces Demand for Electricity

When roving Contributing Editor Mark Axford attended several recent energy conferences, he found the same questions asked at each one about new U.S. generation sources and consumption patterns. Unfortunately, the experts had few good answers to those questions.

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Turkey Opens Electricity Markets as Demand Grows

Turkey’s growing power market has attracted investors and project developers for over a decade, yet their plans have been dashed by unexpected political or financial crises or, worse, obstructed by a lengthy bureaucratic approval process. Now, with a more transparent retail electricity market, government regulators and investors are bullish on Turkey. Is Turkey ready to turn the power on?